Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegan Silk Soy Nog Cupcakes

Hi everyone. It's The Wife here with a guest blog post!

For Jose's post marathon beverage he requested his favorite holiday beverage, Silk Soy Nog! To further celebrate finishing his first marathon I made him a very special batch of cupcakes, vegan Silk Soy Nog cupcakes! I found a few recipes online but I wasn't happy with any of them. One even had real rum in it and I knew Jose would not eat those. So, this is what I came up with. These cupcakes are so light, moist and have all that yummy nog flavor that you love. I hope you enjoy them. Merry Christmas!

Silk Soy Nog Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350.
Line pan with 12 cupcake liners.

1 1/4 cup Silk Soy Nog
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp imitation rum extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c oil
1 c sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/3 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Combine Silk soy nog and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine imitation rum extract, vanilla extract, oil, sugar and nutmeg.
Mix and set aside.

In another mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the nog mixture and the other wet mixture. Mix until no large lumps remain. Be careful to not over mix. This is the secret to light, moist vegan cupcakes!

Fill cupcake liners with batter and bake until toothpick inserted in the center come out clean, for about 18-20 minutes.

Let cool.

Silk Soy Nog Frosting
1/4 c earth balance(not whipped!) room temp
1/4 c non hydrogenated shortening room temp
1 tsp imitation rum ext
1 tsp vanilla extract

about 1/4 c silk soy nog
4 c confectioners sugar

With a hand mixer beat margarine and shortening together.
Add extract and beat until combined.

Add sugar a cup at a time. Add a little nog with each cup of sugar until you reach desired consistency. Note: you may use more or less soy nog.

Pipe on cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and nutmeg.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More CIM Race Reports - Post Race Resting

Two Things! 1 Thoughts on post marathon 'blues' and 2 a listing of other CIM race reports :)

1 - I haven't been running much since the marathon, not because my leg doesn't feel great, it does! I'm just following the advice of sage people who have done this before and letting my body completely recuperate.
I have done 3 miles here and there, but obviously not big time double digit running.
I also haven't had any post race 'blues' for lack of a better term, after all I'm happy with my results, know exactly the reasons for said results, and know exactly what needs to be done to improve those results.
Now obviously the results aren't everything, I view every part of running to be the awesome part, from training to races to eating before hand, etc. everything! I love it all.

That being said, what are your plans for 2010? Runners and non-running lurkers - let me know!

Personally I accomplished everything I set out to do in 2009, and more! At the beginning of the year I had no idea I was going to go and do a marathon. I was just excited to train and take on a 10k. I did it and felt awesome, then got greedy and wanted to do a half. Met some new running friends in my failed attempt to procure entry into the ShamRockn, and then did a few 5ks and decided to do the American River Parkway.
It was a mixed bag of emotions, but overall a success. Somewhere in here, I saw the movie "The Spirit of The Marathon" and read "Ultramarathon man" and felt the lure of 26.2 call to me. I redeemed myself during my 2nd half the Cowtown and by then had set my sights on The Big Race. This next year I hope to do the following races.

Shamrockn Half Marathon - for sure. This was my first race EVER two years ago when I did my first 5k. I now get to run it as a half with all the knowledge of having run both two halfs and a full.

San Francisco Marathon - this is a possibility, not 100% yet! we willl definitely be there to ch eer on a friend, will I get to cheer her wearinga  bib? We'll see.

California International Marathon - I'm a glutton for punishment, and I want redemption!

Anything else I am missing? Let me know!

CIM Race Reports
Here are race reports from friends, online friends, and people I don't know but who I've at least interacted with online.
Holly is an awesome girl who ran with us the majority of the CIM and her and her friend Jenn were also first time marathon runners!

Greg is a local guy who blogs like a madman and is a Sacramento race regular.

Kristen follows my blog and I follow hers, another local Sacto superstar!

I don't know chicrunner but Amy got me into reading her blog because she's funny and has good tips on eating. I borrowed the PBnJ trick from her!

Here's a few more from the twitterverse, enjoy !

PS Here's a photo I should have posted a while ago, a sign Amy held up around mile err 8? Something like that

Saturday, December 12, 2009

California International Marathon - Race Report

Exciting, chilling, painful, hilarious, and most of all - fun!

I left work friday, picked up the rest of Team Galvan and went straight to the expo. Exciting stuff to me : I got my bib, shirt, etc. Maybe exciting to you, I met Bart Yasso and discussed his past mullet (Power Mullet actually, don't believe me? Check out the current issue of Runner's World)

Saturday CIM Expo again Fleet Feet Sacto and of course - Spaghetti Factory,  I met a few twitter-ers. That sounded lame! I met both Greg and Kyndra, follow them in the twitterverse by clicking those links. I saw Yasso speak - he was hilarious ! And did one final 'sweep' of the expo to see if there was anything worth buying.  The night before I had read a few chapters of "My life on the Run " and after his presentation I asked him if he was still a vegetarian. "Oh definitely!" he replied.
I told him that I'd see him tomorrow and that he'd like my shirt.
I was mostly being a smart ass since there are only like, thousands of people in town for that race but, well hold that thought!
On the way out my conversations with famous people continued, I asked a local running journalist, let's call her "DeeDee Kirkpatrick", about the etiquette to have someone run me in. Amy and I had thrown around the idea of having her run the last mile or so with me and DeeDee told me that as long as it wasn't in the chutes, it was ok. After that, they pulled people off the road if they didn't have bibs on. I thanked her for her advice and headed off to Spaghetti Factory to fuel off with the family. 

Sunday at 3:45 I woke up, ate oatmeal with some rice milk and  got dressed, not in that order.My friend and training partner Steve picked me up at 4:30, I kissed Amy goodbye and we drove downtown. Runners converged on the Sacramento Sheraton seeking shelter from the  freezing night. Inside we were surrounded by runners pinning on bib #s , discussing race strategy, eating bananas, and sleeping. When the buses finally arrived, a mad throng pushed through the doors and onto the buses. First WTF moment of the day, somewhere on the way to the starting line, our convoy of buses somehow got lost.
Embarrassing! Since a lot of the runners were from out of town, many didn't notice.

We finally arrived and went inside the Chevron to meet Holly and Jenn.  It  was fun to see everyone's race get ups from reindeer antlers to Mizuno jackets.  I opted for wind pants over my running outfit and a big puffy jacket that I intended to donate at around the 3 or 4 mile mark.
With about 10 minutes to the start, I took a warm up run, prayed my IT band would hold, felt it working great and said goodbye to Jenn. Then Steve, Holly and I headed down to the start.

The bag check fiasco was WTF moment #2.
The plan on paper: Two semi trucks would take our plastic bags filled with sweats jackets etc to the capitol for post race pick up.
The plan in reality: A scene out of a disaster relief effort, in reverse!
Instead of bottles of water and food being lobbed down to disaster victims, bags of sweatpants, hoodies, etc. were hurled at unsuspecting volunteers in a frantic last minute ditch to get them on the semis before the race began.
With thousands of runners, and only a handful of volunteers manning two semis, chaos ensued.
I heard later many  gave up on throwing stuff towards the trucks and simply dumped everything on the ground.

The wheelchair participants took off and then we heard the horn, it's on!
Mile 1-3 was a non-stop "holy crap I'm finally running in a marathon" adrenaline rush.
In fact the first half of the race was awesome!
I tried to slow down Steve and Holly, but the excitement of the event and the rolling hills made it tough. "We are going downhill, it's ok to go fast! Well - we were sorta fast on that split, but we'll slow down on the next one!" etc. Holly attempted to get us on walk breaks but looking back I know we were going way too fast. Live and learn right?
Along the way I saw expensive running gear thrown to the side along of the road. Wicking hats, expensive gloves, water bottles, even a water belt !
Cheering crowds greeted us alongside the first part of the race till about Fair Oaks Blvd, we were still going fast, my IT band was still holding strong, I was filling up my water bottle but not drinking any electrolytes.
I threw my puffy jacket away and felt cold but good around mile 3, Somewhere around Greenback we saw Steve's folks, they took this photo.

 I saw my support team around mile 7 and was so stoked to see Amy and Elsa!
This was the ONLY time in the race that my IT band acted up and that's because this stretch of road was really slanted so I had to just grin and bear it for a few.
Old Fair Oaks was fun, we were still pushing the pace and staying somewhat on target, still too fast but manageable. It's not till the halfway point that things started to fall apart.

Steve took an extended portapotty break, I stretched a bit and threw down a Nuun, and Holly kept onward. I felt like I hadn't eaten enough so polished off more hammer gels. Around mile 14 this proved to be a bad move. In a bid to 'catch up' we took off at a pretty crazy clip, and the wind coming up Fair Oaks as we headed south was awful. There were very few spectators out so the energy we were feeding off of, dissipated along with whatever warmth we had left.
The combination of pushing it, the overdose of gel and the water proved to be a barftastic combination. I coughed once, slowed down, told Steve and Holly to keep going and not look back, and hurled. Gross. That barfing episode took a lot out of me so we began to take more walk breaks from here till Mile 20 or so.
Something to note, along the way I made sure to high five everyone I could, to say hi to everyone that was cheering, to say thank you to as many volunteers as I could.

These people were freezing their butts off and weren't moving like us, so really they were feeling the cold much more than we were!
 I  really began to hunger for something substantive and wolfed down some cookies at an unofficial aid station. Along the route, sometimes businesses would hand out stuff - so at the 99 cents store they gave out water, others gave out fruit, etc.
Steve was in bad shape around this time for some reason the Ultima drink didn't sit well with him so he had to stop running and take walk breaks often. I was craving more cookies and around mile 22 got some from Holly's Sac Fit group who had an aid table.
It was around this time that Holly told us she had to keep going as her knee was hurting more when she slowed than when she ran so we bid her goodbye and trudged along.
We were in single digits and all the walk breaks had me back up to speed but the fast start had taken it's toll. During the running portions we were now averaging 12-13 instead of our usual 10-10:30 pace.
Amy texted me to have me check the corner of L and Alhambra, and I saw this and almost burst into tears, since I am a tough guy though - I didn't.

Before I knew it , we had only 2 miles to go! I texted/tweeted and let everyone know and pushed on.
The crowd had really thinned out at this point and when I looked back I saw that the trucks were picking up the mile markers. I knew that the time limit was 6 hours and while my goal was to simply finish under my own propulsion (and with minimal IT band pain) my 2nd goal was to finish within the time frame!
My friends Larry and Jenn met us near mile 25 and Amy trotted out as well !
She ran with us for a few blocks, and out of the corner of my eye I spotted Bart Yasso walking by on the sidewalk. I called out to him and told him "see? I told you I'd see you, how do you like my shirt? " He laughed, gave me a thumbs up and we then sprinted off to the corner where we saw our friends Pat and Jenny, my sister, my parents, all waving and cheering. Pat cracked up at my X's and they yelled at us to run faster. This was just what I needed - I couldn't stop smiling, we ran a bit, then took one last walk break. I'm not going to lie, I needed them too it's not all because of Steve, I told him "dude this is it let's at least run to look good for the photos!" and sprinted the last bit.
I was so stoked to hear my name as I hit that first mat!
I looked to my left and saw my family there, hugged and kissed Amy and my awesome mom in law Nona hugged my family and ran to get my medal and foil.
It was done, it was official. Not as pretty as I had hoped but it was done. I was standing in front of the capitol in my hometown filled with excitement at having achieved a goal I had set out to do 6 months earlier.
I milled about afterward for a bit with Holly and Greg Chance, got a bunch of free produce and eventually left.

Now a week later, it's all a blur - I'm still resting, I did get one blister, but my post race damage was minimal. I cannot be thankful enough that my IT band held up and held strong.I know that there's more that I'm forgetting but I had to type this up before the year ended, so here's my wrap up.

Cool people I saw along the way
- the Christmas twins, (see the photo at Mile 20) they were handing out candy, too cool!
- the pacers - I loved how the encouraged their crew, kudos! Next year I shall keep up with you.
- camo girl - this girl had on a camo headband that matched my shorts. We leapfrogged and she finally caught up with me after an hour.
- mom and daughter runners
- marathon maniacs jerseys - just because, 3 in 3 months isn't maniacal - it's just scary.
- marines doing traffic/crowd control. A woman was running, carrying an American flag and every time she ran by one of them no matter what they were doing they stopped and gave a crisp salute.
America - eff yeah!

Things I learned at this race:

- The race is NOT a time to experiment with new drinks. Poor Steve got waylaid by that nasty Ultima drink and paid dearly.
I felt so bad for him, he trained hard and although the event was a total net positive, I hate to see my friends in pain.

- I can ingest gels, but just not more than 4. After that I become a barfing mess.

- I'm ok with just one Nuun and a serving of Clif Blok electrolyte chews.

- I will run the first half slowly and get negative splits,  I will run the first half slowly and get negative splits,  I will run the first half slowly and get negative splits...
I did this SAME thing at the American River Parkway Half Marathon I went out WAY too fast and paid the price afterwards with involuntary walk breaks.
It's just hard to counter the excitement of that starting horn and the energy of the crowd, but now I know.

- It's not AS fun to finish near the back of the pack. I mean I was still TOTALLY stoked on finishing but I was perilously close to not finishing within the official time limit.
The CIM has an official time limit of 6 hours (They have permits to close the streets for a set time limit, medical staff are there for only a certain time, safety of the runners, etc). Obviously anyone that runs the majority of the 26.2 deserves respect in my book, but personally I do not want to finish that far back in the field anymore.There's somethin disconcerting about seeing the race crew picking up the mile markers behind you! Plus there is the safety issue, I'd hate to see myself or a fellow runner get hurt and then not get assistance because the course limit is up.

- After 20 miles, I turn into the cookie monster (yes friends, this is a blatant suggestion, for the record I love the un-cookie, and the alternative baking company vegan cookies. Delicious!)

- 26.2 miles is a long distance, you must respect the distance and not be so cocky as to think that it's attainable without the right training. Training hard is one thing,training smart is quite another thing. It's also not the same beast as a 13.1 the whole fuel/running/pace thing is different. It's not like a cake recipe, you can't just double the ingredients and serve more. It's it's own beast and as such stands on it's own. In that same vein, I still have just as much respect for the person strapping on a bib for their first 5k as the nutjobs at the Western States 100, all got off the couch and said "I'm going for it", and that's what it's all about.

- Rest, recovery and the taper are total mindfu**s but they totally WORK. I can't believe that I didn't run more than 3 miles in about 3 weeks after my injury yet still managed to run the marathon with minimal  damage,  the proof is there! My legs feel awesome - I can't convey to you all (except for maybe my wife !) how friggin worried I was about going in and running through total pain.
In fact, I was prepared to have to go through the pain. Why? Why NOT? If I suffered through the majority of a 23 mile training run in agony, why not do it when it came right down to the real thing?

- I love runners. I'm sure there are jerk runners out there, but I've been lucky to run into only cool people so far. I love runners and how obsessive they are, I love runners and how they have OCD on stuff like shoes, lacing, food, training, hell everything! I love that I can walk up to anyone wearing a bib and have a good conversation or that runners are always excited to share their tips/experiences/war stories.

- Thanks go out to :
The staff at Fleet Feet Davis and Fleet Feet Sacramento, especially Heather in Davis and Heather in Sacramento for  IT band recovery tips and for giving me advice straight from their running experience without glossing things over.
Thanks to Jenny and Pat and Dresden for showing up, Jenny is committed to doing the SF marathon and we will be there when she crosses that finish line
Thanks you Steve for training with me,
Thanks Holly for running with us, and you for reading.
Thanks to Chuck and Ivy Chastain for their encouragement. Read Ivy's blog here, she's awesome!
My sister Irene, who two years ago told me "when is your first race?" when she saw me running one day with no aim or direction. She pushed me towards my first 5k and now I hope to return the favor. Right ?

-  Even though running is a solo sport, it's also a team sport. My wife and family are the best race support ever. From pancake + tofu scramble breakfasts at my mom in laws after long runs to putting up with months of me disappearing every weekend for hours to run, putting up with me obsessing over every little thing, encouraging me when I was injured, congratulating me when I did well, surprising me with an awesome No Meat Athlete T shirt, researching things for me, and so many other things that I know I'm forgetting. Thank you! I love you, and good night!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Just a quick post to let everyone know I made it! ( photo courtesy of @gchance on twitter.)
What an amazing day!
My IT band held strong, it was a tiny bit achy, but nowhere near the horrors of the 23 mile training run.
Henceforth to be referred to as 'the hardest run I've ever done'
Compared to my training run, this was EASY. We took our time, prolly started out too fast, but enjoyed it.
I am so happy to do this, and might even do it again!

Friday, December 4, 2009

CIM -race results are in!

I got a sub 4 !
Well, wait a minute. I think what's happening is that the folks at the California International Marathon are testing out their new page.
I like their optimism but since this is my first marathon, I'm not even dreaming of a sub 4!
For those of you that want a more realistic time, and want to keep up with me or my friends - go here:
My bib #is 2208

Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 miles

Possibly the last miles I will run before the marathon - what the eff am I thinking? So many emotions right now - so please excuse me if I get a bit emo here.
Between getting sick and the IT band and the taper...I feel like my thoughts are all over the place and running helps me think, so when running lets me down or more accurately my body starts to act (gasp) human , I get bummed out.

Prior to my IT band issues all the pain I incurred from running was simple and manageable. Sidesstitch? Slow down - ease up on the pace. Tightness? Stretch! Dry mouth? Drink water etc. etc.
Now that I have to baby my leg, roll on it, stretch it, and be conscious of what I'm doing, I can't just run without care.
It's very humbling, it's scary on many levels. It's a reminder of my mortality, a reminder of just how fragile we are. If I were in a more positive frame of mind I could say that it's also a reminder of how strong our bodies are but right now I'm scared and overanalzying.

Well - the endorphins have kicked in and I'm feeling a little bit better.
The first mile was tough, I tried to slow down - but my regular pace has sped up now so I guess that's a good thing? I kept forcing myself to look at the watch and take it down a notch but no negative splits.
After the 2nd mile I told myself to go home, and began to run back dejected then I told myself do one more - and I felt my legs 'warm up' a bit, and thought back to my 23 mile run.
If I gave up now - would that all be in vain?
So the third mile I said "just enjoy it"..and I did. I felt the wind instead of my ache, felt the sun instead of my fear, felt warmth instead of cold.

I think I can do this...

1 10.39
2 10.43
3 10.49

291 miles of training so far, I can't stop now!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sick of it all

Nothing better than a cold to add to the taper paranoia and IT Band issues! At least I'm ready for the rain. Sometime back ago I got this new balance rain poncho @ fleet feet - fashion and function!
Rain related check out this site

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 1, 2009